Pool tables are getting quite exotic these days with multi colored cloths, (basically any color you want) and more contemporary table designs to fit in with modern decor. A well crafted pool table is still a very nice piece of furniture if a bit on the large size. Don’t forget to allow for cuing room when you buy a table, allow 10 ft on both dimensions to allow for cuing room when playing, so if you have a 6 ft table your room size should be 16 ft x 13 ft to give some room all around the table to manipulate the cue. (17 ft x 14 ft for a 7 ft table etc).
Also pool tables can cost anything from $ 60 for the small kids tables to $ 1000’s for the exotic Italian tables and the main difference is the playing surface, either wood or MDF and slate. The wooden topped tables are usually the toy versions although there are some very nice wood topped tables that can come in 7 ft sizes, quite adequate for an adult game and very much cheaper than the slate bed versions.
Proper pool tables are the slate tables, no wooden topped table will equal the response and accuracy of roll of a slate bed pool table. The slate comes in thickness’s of 3/4 inch to a full 1 1/2 inches depending on the cost of the table. As might be supposed with that much rock on the table they are very heavy compared to their wooden counterparts. The slate itself can come as 1 piece or 2 or 3 separate pieces to save carrying weight when installing the table. Whilst single piece slate tables can be installed easily by the customer providing you have some hefty mates to help you put the slate on, the multi slate tables should always be installed by professionals as they can be tricky to line up right.
The pool table bases also come in a variety of materials from the traditional types made of wood to the brick outhouse style of steel tables made to stand up to the Hurley burly of pool club life. The choice of table really depends on the use it is put to, with the wooden types looking more decorous in the home environment and the steel and aluminum framed tables are made for the clubs. The aluminum and steel tables also lend themselves to garish outer decoration as you’ve probably seen in public places with pool tables whereas the home tables are more demure.
The games played on pool tables vary depending on which country you are in from the French which play on Carom pool tables which don’t have any pockets! They play a form of billiards on these tables where you score points for hitting the object ball or your opponent’s ball or both. The more common tables do have pockets and the games on these are 8 ball which perversely is played with 15 balls with the object being to pocket the number 8 ball and 9 ball pool which IS played with 9 balls formed up into a diamond shape for break off.
Pool tables are part of the larger family of billiard tables which have been around for a few hundred years and include snooker carom and pool tables, and I’m sure they will be around for a few more hundred years as it is a great game that anyone can play and if you get really good at it you can earn a very decent living on the professional playing circuit. So get yourself a pool table or get down to your nearest club and enjoy!
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